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By Irving Tallman

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It follows that much of the information needed to guide decision making must emanate from and be concerned with the social structure. Thus the sources of information the family members use in making decisions are often external to the family. This suggests that some of the members of the family, usually those who are working or studying away from home, will have greater access to such information than other members of the family. Later in this chapter we consider how access, as well as the amount and type of information available within a given social structure, affect actors' abilities to process, integrate, and utilize information.

7 the greater the number of dimensions perceived, the more likely a large number of integrative rules will be applied in processing any bit of information. 9 Schroder et al. (1967) hypothesize a U-shape relationship between diversity in the environment and level of information processing: Overly simple environments, which fail to present sufficiently diverse and/or numerous dimensional units of information, fail to stimulate the processes of integration—that is, simple structures are sufficient for coping with such environments.

Therefore, problem-solving experiences involving family members seeking to attain goals within their social structure represents an important aspect of the child's socialization for social change. In the following section we describe essential components of this experience. PROBLEM SOLVING: PROCESSES AND OUTCOMES Engaging in problem-solving behavior requires the perception of a situation as a problem. The first step in explicating the problem-solving process, therefore, requires identifying the elements that make up a problem.

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